8 November 2017

Kenya Varsities Exempted From Law School Entry Exams

Students who have obtained their bachelor's degree from Kenyan universities will not be required to sit for pre-Bar exams or entry tests to the Kenya School of Law (KSL) to qualify as advocates of the High Court.

This follows a ruling by Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita on Monday, who declared as invalid, null and void, a notification that made it mandatory for all those joining KSL to sit the test.

"For any avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that those who studied LLB degree in universities in Kenya having attained the required KCSE grades shall not sit for the pre- bar examination scheduled for November 10 or any such future exam," ruled Justice Mwita.

The judge said that the disputed regulation for joining the Advocates Training Programme (ATP) contravenes existing laws.

He, however, pointed out that the declaration of invalidity should remain suspended for a period of 12 months so as to allow KSL's board to take necessary steps to make that regulation compatible with other laws.

Even though the impugned regulation has been declared invalid and has been temporarily suspended, the judge consequently made it clear that law graduates from Kenyan institutions would not sit that test. Justice Mwita made the ruling in a case filed by Mr Adrian Kamotho, a law graduate from the University of Nairobi.

He had sued the KSL over the regulation which had been effected through a July notice.

He claimed that Regulation 6 of KSL rules of 2015 were contrary to Section 16 of the 2012 Act. KSL wanted the matter dismissed, but the judge faulted it for not formulating that regulation appropriately.

Previously the test was only taken by foreign students or those who have obtained their undergraduate degrees from institutions outside Kenya.

ATP is conducted in 18 months in which the first 12 involve in-house training while the remaining six are for pupilage.

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